For now, an outdoor patio at Schullers Tavern in Golden Valley is on hold. At its meeting Wednesday night, the Golden Valley City Council chose not to approve a change to the city's comprehensive plan, which would have allowed Schullers Tavern to expand.
The city council didn't vote against the patio either. The meeting ended with the council taking no action on the issue.
The area where Schullers sits became residential after the restaurant was built in 1929. It was allowed to continue operating as a business in a residential zone, with the understanding that it would not be allowed to expand its existing footprint.
To allow the patio, Golden Valley officials would have had to make a zoning change from a residential district to a commercial one. Several neighbors have been concerned with what could take Schullers's place should the restaurant close.
The issue sparked discussions among the Golden Valley Planning Commission and the Golden Valley City Council about the possibility of creating some sort of "light commercial" zoning district. Unlike larger cities like Minneapolis, Golden Valley has a limited number of commercial districts it could apply to an area.
The city's planning commission recommended to the city council that it deny amending the comprehensive plan. The council chose, instead, to take no action on the issue.
Council member Paula Pentel says had the council moved forward with a motion to deny, it would have required a 3/5 vote. She says this doesn't mean the issue can't come back before the council in the future. However, at this time, the decision stops the Schullers patio plans in their tracks.
Pentel and other council members have brought up possibly having the planning commission look into creating a new zoning district that might later apply in the Schullers case. However, she says writing new law specifically for Schullers "is not the way to make laws."
"The folks who bought Schullers, they knew what they were buying," said Pentel.
August 9, 2012